Lucas Rojas-Mendoza1, Emily A. Sarver 1, John R. Saylor2

  • 1 Department of Mining and Minerals, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
  • 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Received: March 1, 2017
Revised: May 15, 2017
Accepted: May 18, 2017
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Cite this article:
Rojas-Mendoza, L., Sarver, E.A. and Saylor, J.R. (2017). Removal of DPM from an Air Stream Using Micron-Scale Droplets. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 17: 1865-1874.


  • Micron-scale water drops were used to remove DPM from an exhaust stream.
  • A 45% improvement in DPM particle number removal was observed versus no treatment.
  • Significant improvement in DPM mass removal was also observed.
  • A two-step removal mechanism is indicated as DPM-drop coagulation, then settling.



Respiratory exposures to diesel particulate matter (DPM) present health risks, particularly in confined environments with a relatively high number of emission sources. Despite a variety of existing control technologies, exposures in some occupational environments remain unacceptably high (e.g., underground mine environments), and new technologies and abatement strategies are needed. The physics of droplet-particle interactions suggests that micron-scale water drops can effectively scavenge DPM from an air stream. Here, experimental results are presented on DPM removal from a diesel exhaust stream using a fog of water droplets. Measured scavenging coefficients, based on both number density and mass, show that significant DPM removal is possible. The potential scavenging mechanisms at play are discussed, and insights are offered on future work necessary for scale-up of a fog-based exhaust treatment technology.

Keywords: Diesel particulate matter (DPM); DPM removal; DPM coagulation; micron-scale water drops

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